Misadventures on the Learning Curve – Fly Fishing

So…fly fishing, it looks pretty easy right? I’ve seen a River Runs Through It. Ok, well I haven’t actually seen it, but I have heard references to it and I did watch a couple of videos on YouTube and really how hard can it be? 10 o-clock, stop, 2 o’clock, stop, don’t bend your wrist, wait for the line to travel, nice smooth movements. I’ve got this, oh how I’ve got this.

Like all things that I get interested in, I tend to jump in first, flounder around for a bit, and then after much cursing and swearing, I begin to actually do some research on what the hell it is I’m trying to attempt. So it goes with fly fishing.

Beautiful weekend, no plans, figured I’d grab the rod, head somewhere close to home and give this fly fishing thing a try. Why, I could hear the trout already sizzling in my frying pan, and smell them as they roasted on my barbecue. By god, I was a fly fisherman and I was going to bring home one of those wily trout. A little research shows that they stocked Sanctuary Pond in Hastings Park and it’s a mere 10 blocks from home, here was to be my hunting grounds. Here, I was to prove myself the graceful, yet mighty fly fisher.

Holy sweet spaghetti monster, first cast and I’m already tangled up in the bushes behind me. Spend time untying everything from the bushes. Give the bushes my best hairy eyeball, and turn to cast again. Out goes my line, in long graceful loops, pulling line, I can feel the rhythm, as I get the line going, and then, I damn near yank my arm out of the socket as I hook into a tree behind me. WTF!

10 feet off the ground and surrounded by thorns of immeasurable size, I can see the Gordian Knot my line has tied around a branch with my fly sitting proudly on it. My fly moons me with glee knowing that it won’t be returning to the water any time soon.

Sigh, get in as close as I can, untangle/untie as much as possible and realize that I’m going to have to cut the line. Swearing and a few curse words. Then a few more curse words. Then a Mom and her kid show up so I stop swearing out loud and mutter under my breath, while giggling once in awhile. I think that kind of freaked them out, so they left. Who knew muttering and giggling quietly to yourself would unnerve some people?

Managed to stand on the fishing dock at just the right angle so that I can cast without getting caught on the trees behind me, get so impressed with myself that I strike a pose. I immediately hit myself in the back of the head with the fly and it embeds itself, but thankfully not deeply. So one fly that took its earliest opportunity to escape my grasp and one that has just drawn blood, it’s on fly box, oh, it’s on.

I manfully struggled with my line, with those bushes and I even caught the dock and the bottom of the pond a couple of times but those trout were not to be found. I packed my rod away and slunk home, defeated.

This is when I decided to do a little more research, roll casting….hmmm. So there is a way to cast without getting tangled on crap behind you. That would’ve come in handy sooner. Hmmmm….a recommendation to maybe spend some time at the park doing some dry land training. I live within a block of a park.

So 2 hours spent yesterday casting, roll casting, casting some more. Still have a long way to go, but eventually I’ll bring home a fish!

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